Archive for the ‘Tinfoil hat’ Category

“Us And Them” and neural networks

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

More of my hand-wavy guesswork about the structure of the human mind follows.

So, one of the interesting questions that comes up when thinking about NNNs is the question of ‘us’ and ‘them’. It’s a pretty standard part of human thinking to think of yourself as a member of a group (the ‘us’) and people who are not members of that group as being ‘the enemy’ or at least subdesirable in some way. I’m not thinking this type of thinking is all that helpful a lot of the time, but it’s interesting to think about in terms of what it says about the underlying network.

Earlier, I hypothesized that while we as individuals have the ability to determine whether information is coming from inside or outside of us (or whether we think it is – in fact we’re probably not in a great position to know for sure) very few neural subnets can tell the source of information – and in fact many subnets may not be able to tell a data access from a command from a teaching / learning moment. Extending on that idea a little bit, it may be very difficult to abstract any external data that a local copy does not exist of.

It’s very likely that any attribute we can recognize in the “them” exists within us, since if it didn’t we wouldn’t have a frame of reference to think about it at all. This doesn’t mean we’re all mass murderers, but it does mean that we all have a collection of symbols surrounding the idea of mass murder. Generally, I imagine, that symbol is wired up in such a way as to inhibit such behavior in most of us. (After all, neurons do most definitely have inhibit inputs as well as excite inputs)

Now, it’s important to realize that a lot of these symbols are necessarily fairly large. You don’t fit a idea like mass murder inside a single neuron, or even a hundred, and you also have to have some fairly large neural bridges sufficient to allow reaching between symbols that are physically somewhat disparate, because the overall system is so large that there are physical limits as to what can be wired directly to what.

So, one of the questions – especially insofar as we’ve been discussing neural games of Go – is how much of ‘them’ is a interior part of us that is attempting to be a acting part at any given time. We the controlling personality is obviously going to resist acting on the urges and impetus of the parts of us that are what we would consider part of the ‘them’, but they’re still very much active and engaged neural subnets which are participating in the overall big picture of making us who we are. If you removed them entirely, you would likely not get a stable or usable system. This would seem to play in nicely into the philosophy of Yin and Yang.

DID and neural networks

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

So, popular consensus is that DID is a mental illness caused by extreme trauma that causes a personality to fragment into segments.

I assume it is news to no one that while I do not consider $future_person[0] a alter, I do believe that I have DID, although normally my alters stay very far backgrounded. I do however think that they all contribute to the overall system – that is to say, I think that for example when I’m jamming with the band and making up lyrics on the fly but my conscious experience is only slightly engaged in creating the lyrics (a phrase or fragment or concept), some wordsmith part of my mind is creating bits that rhyme and turning this into full blown lyrics. For a example of this, check out this audio clip from band practice with Bruce, Art, and me – this was not a prewritten song, it was improv – clip

I think it is possible to have something that is a close kin to DID and have it be a more productive order than the average configuration rather than a disorder. The reason is that it enables the operator of the mind that is using this configuration to more effectively utilize the entire neural network.

Consider that normally, your conscious experience is only engaging with a few dozen threads at once – that’s all you can have ‘foregrounded’, or actively a part of your world. Now, obviously there are neural structures that do things like running a scheduler for running events at preset times, but if you have alters, you can also pass off foreground tasks that you don’t need to be actively engaged with to other bits of yourself – it’s kind of like the advantages of having multiple cores in a CPU. I don’t know if alters have a conscious experience, or just a head node and task list, or what – it would be fascinating to be able to look at the structure of my mind sufficiently to find out – but certainly they can be engaging neurons and neural subnets that would otherwise be completely idle.

Now, of course, I have no memory of what it might be like to *not* be this way. So it’s possible that I’m wrong and that I would simply be able to handle more threads if I wasn’t broken. I do seek certain types of reintegration, although with a fair amount of fear and trepidation because I’m hesitant to fuck too much with a running system.

Autism

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

So, I had a thought the other day about the recent epidemic of autism – and mind you, this is definitely tinfoil hat territory.

I think it’s possible autism is enhanced – made to be a more prominent trait – by standardized testing.

So, the basic thesis works like this. Natural Neural networks are always adapting to whatever load is placed on them. Standardized testing encourages them to develop more black-and-white thinking. I think professional educators often forget that the minds of the students are still adapting during the test itself – that the test itself is causing them to learn something, but it’s probably not anything you’d call good.

And, of course, we run our children through many, many standardized tests these days. I think it’d be really interesting to run some large advanced ANNs through standardized testing and looking to see what happens to the structure of a mind that is adapting to standardized testing.

Bernie Sanders and the prisoner’s delimma

Sunday, June 12th, 2016

Bernie does a very good job of underlining one of the basic problems with a two party system with a third party attempting to break in.

Those of you who are students of history will remember that Clinton won his first term partially because of a man named Perot, who was also a independent with some interesting ideas. Of course, Clinton was running against Bush – and, insane as this sounds, lately we’ve had cause to feel nostalgia towards Bush. Bush was maybe not the president I would elect, but he wasn’t much of a heel (in the faces and heels speak of WWF) – he was a moderate, and is repeatedly on record as saying things which are mostly pretty reasonable.

In the meantime, this year, our election is between moderate capitolist conservitive Clinton, insane reality TV star Trump, and democratic socialist Sanders. So, another three way race. However, unlike our last three way race, in this one, the split is between Clinton (who, much as we don’t want to admit it, we can mostly live with) and Sanders (who many of us would love to have as he represents real tangible progress on a number of fronts). Meaning, if half of us vote for Clinton and half for Sanders, Trump wins.

Now, if you’re a Trump fan, I don’t really know what to say other than, why exactly do you want WWIII? But, let’s leave them out of the discussion for the moment and talk about those of us who aren’t fans of building walls and evicting people because we don’t like their religion.

If Bernie gets on the ticket somehow – either as a independent or on the Green Party or, really, any way other than by getting the Democratic nomination, we’ve got a real problem.

The problem is remarkably similar to the Prisoner’s Dilemma. I think most of us could agree that either Bernie or Clinton would be better than Trump, but we have to find some way to agree, en masse, who we’re going to vote for.

We also have to find some way to verify that we really voted for this person. In essence, I do not think the US voting network is secure or trustworthy or believable, so I want to go out on a limb here. I am suggesting we perform something not usually done. I am suggesting *every one of us* photograph our ballots and upload them all to a central repository. We’re going to have to put together something that can handle this, ideally in some decentralized (blockchains? peer to peer) manner. We are going to have to build a reliable voting network as a system for verifying that the current voting network is reliable

I also am suggesting that one way or another, if both Bernie and Hil are on the ticket, we need to all agree which direction we’re going beforehand. The very last thing we want is a 50/50 split between Hil and Bernie winning the election for Trump. At the same time, we don’t want Bernie to step down, because the things he’s saying are the things that need to be said.

More on this later.

Side note – It’s easy to see one feature we *really* should have built into the voting network – the ability to list candidates in order of preference. This would facilitate indicating that you both like Hil and Bernie better than Trump, while indicating which you would rather have elected. However, my hunch is that the whole thing is a bit of a show – just like WWF – and that in fact the powers that be run the place using entirely different methods, while keeping us distracted with the faces and heels.

Trump

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

Reading about Donald Trump makes me think my friend Steve is right.. I should buy some land as far away from everyone as possible.. Okay, I’m joking, but only somewhat. I read the polling numbers, and there’s more than 40% of my fellow citizens who would vote for this guy? I wonder if the people talking about ‘kicking the illegals out’ realize that the illegals are the people who are adding the most value in a lot of places – a lot of them are really hardworking folk! If you forget the bullshit money politics and look at where that strawberry actually came from, you realize that if you kicked them out, our economy would fail in large and impressive ways. Now, I’d really like it if robots were picking the strawberry and the illegals were A: legal because we’d adopted a open border policy and B: taking a siesta, but I recognize that’s still a few years out, so for the moment, please don’t kick out the people who are actually doing the work.

Trump does, however, bring up a interesting ethical question. What is your ethical responsibility if Hitler gets elected? Suppose Trump does get elected, and he starts putting Muslims in concentration camps, a la the Japanese in WWII? What form should my resistance take? Writing blog articles is probably not enough at that point.

Of course, if that does happen, I assume I’ll also be placed in a concentration camp, shortly after the secret police discover this blog on the wayback machine.

By the way, if Bernie doesn’t get elected, I will take it as a sign that it’s too soon for socialism – at some point, at some level of automation and computer science, socialism is going to become the only sane answer. At that point more than 50% of the US will, I really hope, be able to figure that out. We aren’t quite there yet – we *need* a bunch of people to work their asses off for a few more years. One thing I do love about things like Minecraft – and the web – is that it has taught millions of people to program, and millions of people to understand automation and building automated systems. Guys, there is still some work left to do before we can truly live in a socialist paradise where the only people working are the ones who want to..